Burger Night at PQM

Apparently, going back to blogging means that I need to stay a bit more up to date on the many food happenings in the city. So, when my more food savvy friend asked if I wanted to go to Burger Night at Publican Quality Meats, my answer was: “What’s that?” Quickly followed by, “Actually I don’t care. I heard burger and Publican. Sign me up.”

As it turns out, Burger Night is a weekly event at Publican Quality Meats where two chefs or restaurants construct their perfect burger, and the consumers get to sample their work. There is no winner and no real competition involved, but it certainly did not suck to pretend to be a judge. In my fantasy life I’m Padma, if you must know.

This particular week it was Stephanie Izard vs Paul Kahan (not really versus but we’re still in fantasy mode). Both are two of my favorite chefs and have never disappointed me with their work. This night was no exception.

Stephanie crafted the Banh-Mi burger, which consisted of a PQM patty, shaved ham, goat liver mousse, gochujang aioli, pickled jalapenos, and pickle and herb salad. Good thing she used the word salad at the end. Now I can consider it a light and healthy summer dinner. I know for you non-foodies, (Mom) this probably sounds like a revolting slew of disgustingness, but I swear you would disagree if you tasted it.

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Paul’s Double Nickles on the Dime burger bared few similarities to Stephanie’s, past the PQM patty.  Marinated flank steak, pickled mushrooms, raclette and bread and butter pickle special sauce flanked-see what I did there? a buttery Brioche bun. Say buttery Brioche bun five times fast. I know what you’re thinking. Actually I don’t, but that’s something writers say. Who puts steak on a burger? Paul Kahan that’s who. And weird or not, it tasted like a heaven sandwich.

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I did notice that nickels is spelled wrong in Paul’s burger. Did you? I’d like to think it’s an inside joke, not a real spelling error.

I wish I could say that there was a clear winner in this fantasy battle, but sadly, there was not. The guy sitting next to me actually said it perfectly. “My favorite is whichever one I last took a bite of.” I felt the same way. They were both amazingly delicious, perfectly seasoned, and everything else you would expect from chefs of their caliber. But comparing them is like comparing a corned beef sandwich to sushi. Both phenomenal in their own right, but just not similar enough to make a decision. Nonetheless, Burger Night was the best Tuesday night dinner I’ve had in a while. I definitely plan to check it out again before the end of the season, and I suggest that you do the same!

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